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[IP] Microlet(tm) Vaculance(tm)

Someone on the list (sorry but I have forgotten who) had previously
recommended the Microlet(tm) Vaculance(tm) by Bayer as a preferred method of
obtaining blood from the arm as a substitute to finger pricks. I wanted to
report my experience with the Vaculance (VL) and add my agreement to the
original recommendation.

The bottom line is I like the Vaculance a lot and it is now my primary
lancing device.

I had some trouble getting a VL. I could not find it stocked at any of my
local drugstores (CVS, Drug Rite, Eckards or Wal Mart) and could not
purchase it from any of the on-line pharmacies I've used in the past (CVS,
Drugstore.com, MerekMedco or MiniMed). I managed to get it direct from Bayer
at their GlucoMeter site(http://www.glucometerdex.com/order.htm). The charge
was a bit steep at $25 + $4.50 shipping.

This is a firm, solid device, There is not shake, rattle or loose parts
about it. The plunger operates very smoothly but takes more effort to
depress than most other devices. I like the feel of it but the tension could
be an issue for very small children. I suspect most people will not have a
problem with this.

The VL is large and this is my single complaint. In it's unused storage
configuration the VL is a 6 inch long by 0.75 inch diameter cylinder and
does not easily fit into  most meter cases. Because of this problem I
originally used the VL only at home and continued to carry my FreeStyle
Lancet with me when away. More recently I have rearranged my meter case (VL
in the main compartment, not in one of the pockets) so that I can carry the
it with me and it is now the only device I use. I wish there was some way to
lock the plunger down (reducing the length to less than 5 inches).

The Vaculance is very simple to use. You place it against the skin, depress
the plunger and then slowly release. no fumbling, cocking or triggering
required. You then break the vacuum by partially depressing the plunger.

Depth of penetration is continuously adjustable by twisting the end cap and
can be varied by about 0-2.0 mm. Once it is set it does not need to be
changed. I use the minimal depth setting.

The device uses the normal lancets. The instructions call for "short
lancets" but these seem to be the same that I have used with every lancing
device in the past (FreeStyle, One Touch, FastTake, Dex, etc.)

I have had not problem getting adequate size samples with the VL. I've used
it approximately 200 times now on my forearms, upper arm, ball of the palm
and top thigh without having to repeat a single stick.  I usually do not
have much problem getting an adequate amount of blood for testing (and I use
the FreeStyle requiring a very small sample) so I am probably not the most
critical judge of this issue but my success rate has been higher than with
either the FreeStyle or the FastTake lancet devices.

The instructions specifically say not to use the Vaculance on the finger.
The issue is that "... Small fingers can fit up into the Endcap and
eliminate any puncture depth control... " I've got to agree with this. The
opening of the end cap is almost 14 mm across and even adult fingers
protrude very deeply into the endcap. This limitation may prove to be a
disadvantage but so far I have not been inconvenienced by it.

Changing lancets is not as simple as some devices. You have to remove the
end cap and manually pull the lancet out. However it is not particularly
difficult and is something I do rarely anyway.

In conclusion I like the Vaculance a lot and highly recommend it.
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